Sourdough for Beginners

The Best Places to Actually Find and Buy Flour Right Now

updated Mar 27, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Pinkasevich / Shutterstock

Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes are pretty impossible to find right now, as the coronavirus crisis develops. Ditto for beans and rice. But there’s one more thing that’s apparently equally as elusive these days: We can’t seem to find flour anywhere right now!

It’s not at all shocking that baking has soared to the top of a lot of our to-do lists. Widespread shelter-in-place mandates have rendered us stuck inside for the greater good and health of society, and people are looking for ways to occupy their newfound time at home. Unfortunately, all those stress-baking cookie sessions and sourdough bread escapades will have to wait … until we can get our hands on more all-purpose flour.

Online retailers like Bob’s Red Mill, Webstaurant Store, Walmart, and more are fresh out of flour (with no indication at all regarding when it will be restocked), and an Instacart or Amazon Fresh delivery slot probably has a long waiting list (and it’s not likely you’ll be able to get flour through a delivery service anyway).

But, if you’re really hoping for a bag of flour, there is a great workaround we learned from some smart Reddit users: Call your local bakery.

Credit: Maria Midoes

One clever member of the r/Baking subreddit suggested this: “If you’re out of flour during this time of quarantine, call up a local restaurant or bakery. Today I ordered 25 pounds of flour from a bakery for $18 and I got to support a local business.” The post received more than one thousand upvotes and 42 comments echoing the recommendation.

Related: Sourdough for Beginners: How to Start, Feed, and Bake the Bread that Will Get You Through

In many parts of the U.S., local food service joints are allowed to remain in operation only if they can provide carry-out and/or delivery services. So while your favorite bakery might be open to give you car-side croissants, it also might able to sell you flour. Our point? It might be worth calling your local bakery to see if they can help.

We spotted the same tip on pie baking extraordinaire, Erin McDowell’s Instagram, with some bonus information: This strategy might even help you get your hands on a few other ingredients. One of Erin’s followers called up a local bakery and got 25 pounds of bread flour, a half a pound of yeast, and two dozen eggs out of the deal, (for just $30). Sounds like it’s worth a try, no?

Credit: Kelli Foster

Where to Order Flour Online

If you do not need flour ASAP but would like to order some to arrive in the coming weeks, one of our favorite milling companies, King Arthur Flour, reports that they still have flour in stock. However, the Vermont-based baking retailer warns of serious shipping delays due to unprecedented circumstances and increased demands and has limited bulk purchases to two of the same item per customer.

We also did find some at Thrive Market, but you should note that shipping times are delayed by seven to 10 days and you do have to be a member in order to shop the Costco-like site.

One last suggestion: Look around for smaller mills that are still offering shipping, like Sunrise Flour Mill in Minnesota, Lindley Mills in Graham, North Carolina (orders are delayed just one week), and Janie’s Mill in Ashkum, Illinois.

Have you been able to find flour in the grocery store?